Sadly, this kind of thing happens too often. If the designer has a fancy webpage or a good referral, it’s possible to hire them without getting what you pay for in the end. So, how do you avoid this?
Is the designer local? This isn’t a deal killer. But really, it is a much better idea if you can meet face to face at least once or twice. The designer needs to be able to relate to you and understand your business. Ideally, you should maybe even like each other. You have to have trust as well. This is so hard to establish with text messages and emails.
Does the designer spell out exactly what you are getting for your money in some sort of contract? I have to admit, for smaller jobs, it’s tempting to skip this, but really, there should be something on paper to outline everyone’s expectations. This way, you will know what to expect. The designer knows what you expect. Everyone is protected from most misunderstandings this way. This contract should say what the finished product will be, in detail. It should say what rights the clients has to the art afterwards. It should have the price and the timeline.
So my next project is to fix my almost-client’s $600 lack-luster logo, once we sit, talk, have a cup of coffee hopefully, and sign a contract, of course. I can guarantee that it will be energetic and custom tailored just for her. Maybe I’ll post a “before and after” as a future blog entry!